31st March 2017 marks the end of the statutory Bush Fire Danger Period in many parts of NSW. NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said last year’s wet winter and spring, followed by the state’s hottest summer on record, led to an increased risk of fires.
2016/2017 Bush fire season facts and figures NSW :
› The statutory 2016/17 BFDP began on 1 October 2016 and ended, 31 March 2017
› Total number of bush, grass and scrub fires (from 01/06/16 to 31/03/17) - 11,602
› Total hectares burnt - 277,434
› Total number of total fire bans - 25 (including two state wide fire bans over the weekend of the 11
and 12 February)
› Five LGAs extended the BFDP until 30 April 2017 due to local ongoing dry conditions
› Total number of properties destroyed - 65
› Total number of properties damaged - 38
Four Simple Steps to making your Bush Fire Survival Plan
Hard copies available at :
Wingecarribee Shire Council Civic Centre,
Elizabeth St Moss Vale
Fire Control Centre Mittagong (Rural Fire Service),
Cnr Priestly and Etheridge St Mittagong.
Bush Fire Survival Plan
Climate outlook overview for March - May 2017
The Bureau of Meteorology has released the climate forecast for March - May 2017.
- Autumn (March to May) rainfall is likely to be below average over the southern two-thirds of Australia.
- March is likely to be hotter and drier than average across most of Australia, except the far north and west.
- Warmer autumn days and nights are likely across most of Australia, except northwest Australia where days and nights are likely to be cooler than average.
- The drier than average outlooks are likely a result of forecast higher than normal pressure across western and southern Australia, meaning fewer rain-bearing systems are likely to cross the coast
Climate and Water Outlook, March–May 2017(external link)
More rain, more risk: Prepare for Bush Fire Season (external link)
What does this mean?
- Above average rainfall may lead to an increase in fuel loads. This means that there is a greater build-up of vegetation which also means an increase in surface fuel.
- These factors may increase the possibility of erratic and significant fire behaviour later in the season.
- What can we do to be prepared and keep safe during the Bush fire danger period?
- Know your risk - you don't have to live right near the bush to be at risk. Even if your home is a few streets back, you may be at risk.
- Download and complete your Bush Fire Survival Plan
- Every home should have one. Make a plan and talk about it.
- If you already have a plan, review, discuss and practice your bush fire survival plan
- Prepare your property and home - A well prepared home is more likely to survive a bush fire. Even if your plan is to leave early, the more you prepare your home, the more likely it will survive a bush fire or ember attack. A well prepared home can also be easier for you or firefighters to defend, and is less likely to put your neighbours' homes at risk. A well prepared home will also give you more protection if a fire threatens suddenly and you cannot leave.
- Prepare yourself and your family as well as having a bush fire survival plan this includes making sure you consider your physical, mental and emotional preparedness.
- Prepare an emergency kit
- Have suitable clothes ready to wear
- Know what the Fire Danger Rating is and understand what the different alert levels mean
- Decide and discuss what your ‘triggers’ are to implement your Bush Fire Survival Plan
- Know your neighbours and Community discuss what your plan is in the event of a bush fire
- Keep yourself informed on days of increased fire danger.
- Go to the RFS Hazard Reduction website to inform you of planned hazard reduction burns in your area.
- Check out the RFS Fires Near Me webpage or download the APP for current incidents
- Pay attention to local radio and TV stations
- Check social media such as NSW RFS Facebook and NSW RFS Twitter
- Call the Bush Fire Information Line - 1800 679 737
- If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment
- contact the National Relay Service TTY users phone 1800 555 677 then ask for 1800 679 737
- Speak and Listen users phone 1800 555 727 then ask for 1800 679 737
- Internet relay users connect to the NRS then ask for 1800 679 737
Help to keep our Community Safe
- Report a bush fire hazard - if you are concerned about bush fire hazards on your property, or the property adjacent to you, the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) can provide advice regarding preparing your property against bush fires and what you have to do in the event of a bush fire. This advice is free and can be arranged by contacting your local NSW RFS Fire Control Centre on 4868 5500 and speaking with one of the officers.
- If you see a fire without a fire truck in attendance, please call Triple Zero (000).
- Report arson. If you see something that looks out of place you can report suspicious behaviour to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. If you can, record the details of vehicles such as the make, model and registration of suspicious vehicles. Also take note of the appearance of anyone acting suspiciously.
- Report a cigarette butt tosser. You can call 1800 679 737. Throwing lit cigarette butts from cars and trucks is dangerous. Cigarettes can start bush and grass fires, and place lives at risk. It's also bad for the environment.
For all Bush Fire Information please go to the Rural Fire Service web site at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au